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Christian Wolff and Experimental Philosophy

In Daniel Garber & Donald Rutherford (eds.), Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. vol. 7, 225-255 (2015)

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  1. Bodies of Inference: Christian Wolff’s Epistemology of the Life Sciences and Medicine.Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (3):361-379.
  • Experiment and Speculation in Seventeenth-Century Italy: The Case of Geminiano Montanari.Alberto Vanzo - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:52-61.
    This paper reconstructs the natural philosophical method of Geminiano Montanari, one of the most prominent Italian natural philosophers of the late seventeenth century. Montanari’s views are used as a case study to assess recent claims concerning early modern experimental philosophy. Having presented the distinctive tenets of seventeenth-century experimental philosophers, I argue that Montanari adheres to them explicitly, thoroughly, and consistently. The study of Montanari’s views supports three claims. First, experimental philosophy was not an exclusively British phenomenon. Second, in spite of (...)
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  • Bodies of Inference: Christian Wolff’s Epistemology of the Life Sciences and Medicine.Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (3):361-379.
    Christian Wolff, long regarded as a champion of dogmatic rationalism, was in fact deeply involved in empirical sciences such as physics, astronomy, meteorology, and agronomy. He also devoted a significant part of both his research and teaching to the life sciences and was especially eager to establish the theoretical foundations of medical practice. Challenging the scholarly cliché of Wolff ’s methodical apriorism, recent research has highlighted an empirical, a posteriori, or even experimental component of Wolffian science. This paper aims to (...)
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  • Introduction to "Experience in Natural Philosophy and Medicine".Alberto Vanzo - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (3):255-263.
    The articles in the special issue "Experience in natural philosophy and medicine" discuss the roles and notions of experience in the works of a range of early modern authors, including Galileo Galilei, Francis Bacon, the Dutch atomist David Gorlaeus, William Harvey, and Christian Wolff. The articles extend the evidential basis on which we can rely to identify trends, changes and continuities in the roles and notions of experience in the period of the Scientific Revolution. They shed light on the longstanding (...)
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  • Axiomatic Natural Philosophy and the Emergence of Biology as a Science.Hein van den Berg & Boris Demarest - 2020 - Journal of the History of Biology 53 (3):379-422.
    Ernst Mayr argued that the emergence of biology as a special science in the early nineteenth century was possible due to the demise of the mathematical model of science and its insistence on demonstrative knowledge. More recently, John Zammito has claimed that the rise of biology as a special science was due to a distinctive experimental, anti-metaphysical, anti-mathematical, and anti-rationalist strand of thought coming from outside of Germany. In this paper we argue that this narrative neglects the important role played (...)
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  • Christian Wolff.Matt Hettche & Corey W. Dyck - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Theoretical Virtues in Eighteenth-Century Debates on Animal Cognition.Hein van den Berg - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (3):1-35.
    Within eighteenth-century debates on animal cognition we can distinguish at least three main theoretical positions: (i) Buffon’s mechanism, (ii) Reimarus’ theory of instincts, and (iii) the sensationalism of Condillac and Leroy. In this paper, I adopt a philosophical perspective on this debate and argue that in order to fully understand the justification Buffon, Reimarus, Condillac, and Leroy gave for their respective theories, we must pay special attention to the theoretical virtues these naturalists alluded to while justifying their position. These theoretical (...)
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  • Definitions and Empirical Justification in Christian Wolff’s Theory of Science.Katherine Dunlop - 2018 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 21 (1):149-176.
    This paper argues that in Christian Wolff’s theory of knowledge, logical regimentation does not take the place of experiential justification, but serves to facilitate the application of empirical information and clearly exhibit its warrant. My argument targets rationalistic interpretations such as R. Lanier Anderson’s. It is common ground in this dispute that making concepts “distinct” issues in the premises on which all deductive justification rests. Against the view that concepts are made distinct only by analysis, which is carried out by (...)
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